Good afternoon. Here’s the latest news you need to know in Chicago. It’s about a 5-minute read that will brief you on today’s biggest stories.
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Brutally attacked in South Shore, Black trans woman questions lagging police investigation
Arhmani Washington said she has been smacked with guns and robbed.
Washington, who describes herself as an escort, knows her line of work puts her in that kind of danger. But she was never truly frightened until she was attacked in her former South Shore home.
“Until I had someone break into my house and stab me, that really scared me. I’ve never been more scared in my life,” said Washington, 25, who thinks she was targeted because she’s transgender.
Washington questions whether the Chicago Police Department has put little effort into finding her attacker because she’s trans and Black. The police haven’t made an arrest. They said detectives suspended their investigation one day after the April 7 attack and are still awaiting test results of forensic evidence sent to a state lab. “When I told them I was trans,” Washington said of the police, “they stopped calling.”
She said she recognized her attacker as someone she met months earlier. She had turned him away because he didn’t offer payment, and she thinks the attack was retribution.
The night of the attack, a man slipped through an open window into Washington’s apartment in South Shore, according to police. He said, “B—-, I’m finally here,” according to Washington. He sliced her arm and forehead and kicked and slashed her abdomen so badly it caused some of her intestines to spill out, she said. Washington was hospitalized for a week.
Violence against transgender women is a national problem. So far in 2020, at least 22 transgender people nationwide have been fatally shot or killed in violent confrontations, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which tracks fatal attacks against transgender people.
In Chicago, three trans women have been killed in high-profile incidents in the past two years: Selena Reyes-Hernandez was shot and killed May 31 by a high school student in Marquette Park after he learned she was transgender; Ciara Frazier was fatally stabbed in October 2018 by a man in an abandoned building in West Garfield Park, and Dejanay Stanton was taken to a secluded area in Bronzeville in August 2018 and shot dead by a man after he realized Stanton was a transgender woman.
Police spokesman Luis Agostini said reforms being implemented under the city’s federal consent decree will give officers “the clear policy, training and direction needed to provide equal protection of the law for all Chicago residents. This includes revising our policies guiding interactions with transgender, intersex and gender-nonconforming individuals.”
Washington said it’s pathetic how she was treated by the police.
“Society makes it seem like trans woman are evil people — like they’re sex objects,” she said. “People act like we don’t have the same blood color in our system. And the thing is people don’t know I’m trans until I tell them.”
She said she feels fortunate, though, to have survived her attack and to be able now to get the word out: “Girls like me usually don’t live to tell their story.”
More news you need
- The Illinois Tollway authority’s top two officials got their jobs from Gov. J.B. Pritzker after being “strongly endorsed” by a group that includes John Hooker, a former ComEd lobbyist who has become embroiled in a bribery scandal involving the utility and Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan. Watchdogs reporter Robert Herguth has the story.
- Most Chicago aldermen are praising Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s decision to remove Christopher Columbus statues from Grant Park and the Near West Side. But not all are on board for the permanent removal of the statues.
- Jerry Taft, who worked as a meteorologist for 33 years at ABC 7 Chicago, died in his sleep Thursday night. He was 77. His friends and colleagues said they will remember him for his sense of humor and one-of-a-kind laugh.
- It wasn’t the sight of blood that was most unnerving to the Rev. Michael Pfleger as he stood on a red splotched sidewalk outside the Rhodes funeral home funeral home Tuesday evening, shortly after 15 people were shot there. It was the memory of his foster son, Jarvis, who was killed in 1998 directly across the street from where the mass shooting took place.
- Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s new coronavirus plan has moved from “phases” to “tiers,” aiming to take a more granular approach to COVID-19 mitigation by targeting smaller areas than the original plan did. Here’s what that means, and what another shutdown might look like if coronavirus cases keep climbing.
- The federal judge overseeing the Chicago Police Department’s consent decree will hold two hearings next month to allow members of the public to speak about their interactions with officers during protests and looting that roiled the city after George Floyd’s death. The “listening sessions” will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 19 and 20.
A bright one
It won’t officially count as an error, unless you’re asking Anthony Rizzo’s wife: Rizzo’s wedding ring slipped off his finger and into Belmont Harbor last Friday afternoon.
“He’s lost a lot of weight recently and had just washed his hands and was kind of shaking it, and it just flew off,” according to Yohei Yamada, the diver Rizzo reached out to for help finding his ring. Rizzo, who lost 25 pounds in the off-season, was at the gas dock in his sleek, black speed boat when his afternoon went sideways.
He also had to be somewhere and couldn’t stick around, leaving his wife, Emily, to point Yamada in the right direction. Yamada, known as the go-to guy for such blunders, gave himself slim odds of finding the ring, which sank into the weedy lake bed under 21 feet of water. Yet, after 90 minutes of searching, he emerged with the ring in his hand.
Yamada shared a moment of relief with Emily and texted a photo of the ring to her husband. Rizzo’s reply: “F— yes!”
“They’re like the nicest couple in the world,” Yamada said, noting he hung around for a few minutes to chat with Emily Rizzo. The main topic of conversation was Lurie Children’s Hospital, to which the Rizzos have donated millions. Yamada’s daughter, who was born prematurely seven months ago, has been in and out of the hospital. Her name is Finn (a nod to her dad’s aquatic footwear).
From the press box
Opening Day in Chicago is finally here, and Cubs fans started the day with some good news when Marquee Sports Network announced it had reached a carriage deal with Comcast, the area’s largest cable TV provider.
Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field are still closed to fans, but here’s what you need to know if you want to watch the Cubs and White Sox openers from home. The Cubs play the Brewers at 6:10 p.m., and the Sox play the Twins at 7:10 p.m.
Even if fans are eventually allowed into Soldier Field, social distancing means the stadium won’t be close to capacity, so the Bears canceled all season tickets for the 2020 season. Season-ticket holders will have the first opportunity to buy single-game tickets if spectators are allowed to attend.
Your daily question ☕
What’s your favorite memory of ABC 7 meteorologist Jerry Taft?
Email us (please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: Are you dating during the pandemic? What has that been like for you? Here’s what some of you said…
“Dating is just awful these days.” — Walter Hicks
“I got a puppy and she’s been my partner (although I’m straight). I love her so much! She doesn’t talk back, judge me, or smack me on my leg if another man looks at me. It’s been great!” — Amanda Rose
“If she shows up without a mask, date is over.” — Carl A. Martinez
“Alas, masks hide bad teeth, breath, and a weak chin. Game over. Whatever. No one should be dating during this sh–show. Come on!” — Joanne Charron
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